Eleanore’s Project: 1; Warehouse: 0

Apologies for the late post – last night, we were quite exhausted from working all day long and spent a good hour wrestling with an airlines website to make arrangements for travelling to Arequipa.

Here’s what we’ve been up to.


Yesterday, we assigned wheelchairs to children based on the child’s size and clinical need. We received 165 individual referrals from our partners in Peru giving basic information about each child – age, diagnosis, ability level and measurements. Using this information, Tamara and Sammie made a decision about the size and type of chair that would be appropriate for enhancing posture and skills. Using this master spreadsheet, Tamara and I selected chairs from Hope Haven in December. On Tuesday, we discovered that a technical error had messed up our list – and it looked like we didn’t have enough of the right equipment.

We stayed up until nearly midnight on Tuesday, determined to solve our problem. Sammie and Tamara reviewed every application and we made a new master list. Yesterday, using the new list, we finished chair assignments and found to our great relief that we had enough (and even more) of the right kind of chairs. Whew! Crisis averted.

Jeff with a wrapped wheelchair

Jeff, a student from Yale, shows off a wrapped wheelchair ready for shipping.

The next task was to prepare the chairs for shipment to their clinic destinations: Lima (not very far) and Arequipa (rather far). All wheelchairs for Arequipa had to be disassembled and wrapped with stretch film to protect them and ensure that all pieces would arrive safely.

Volunteers from Yale University, Yancana Huasy staff, Jorge from Equip KIDS and Sammie, Tamara and I all worked together to wrap everything securely. 5 rolls of stretch film later, we were done with all the chairs for Arequipa. They will be shipped out next Thursday on a truck.

At the end of the day, our faces were smudged with warehouse dust – almost like observing Ash Wednesday vicariously.

A pile of wrapped wheelchiars

Our pile of wheelchairs destined for Arequipa, all cocooned in stretch wrap.

Thursday (today)

This is what we did at the warehouse today:

  • Counted everything in the whole Eleanore’s Project shipment. Again. And again.
  • Signed paperwork.
  • Sweated profusely in the hot Lima sun.
  • Secured all loose parts on the wheelchairs for Yancana Huasy with more stretch film (only 2 rolls, this time).
  • Loaded all of the Yancana Huasy wheelchairs onto trucks to bring them to the facility for our clinic.
  • Waited for more paperwork to be processed and signed.
  • Made it home in time for lunch!

Men loading wheelchairs onto a truck.

Yancana Huasy staff hefted the wheelchairs into the truckbed.

It’s amazing how fast loading the trucks can be after 2 days of hard, seemingly interminable work.

This afternoon, we took a well-deserved break. A good lunch, naptime and then back to work on more preparations for next week’s clinic.

Tomorrow, Tamara and Sammie will offer a workshop for professionals at Yancana Huasy. There will be another one for families on Saturday. We’re also awaiting the arrival of more team members tomorrow night and Saturday.

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